Yalitza Aparicio: the actress who broke the stereotypes in the world

Yalitza Aparicio and her leading role in the film Roma, her Oscar nomination and her indigenous heritage broke the stereotypes of the film world.

Yalitza Aparicio was nominated for an Oscar for best actress for her performance in 'Roma' | Internet / IMDb
Yalitza Aparicio was nominated for an Oscar for best actress for her performance in 'Roma' | Internet / IMDb

Yalitza Aparicio transcended racial, social and cultural boundaries, despite her indigenous origin and anonymity, she reached the highest levels of the American artistic class when she was nominated with an Oscar as best actress.

In an interview with the international network CNN, on the eve of International Women's Day, the producer and filmmaker, Ximena Urrutia, explained the phenomenon behind this young Mexican actress. 

"When Yalitza arrives to star in the film by the hand of a director of the stature of Alfonso Cuarón, the situation is definitely put in the crosshairs and this allows that somehow the voice of Yalitza reaches where it has arrived. This obviously added to his performance, which has surprised many in the world," explained the filmmaker.

She added that "what Yalitza in Mexico has embraced a lot especially for the possibility of giving voice to many characters that until now had not had that possibility." Urrutia emphasizes by explaining that, in Mexico, there are things that are marking agenda as principles of legislation that have to do with the protection of domestic workers, who to this day do not have any type of law that protects them so much in economic, labour and health aspects.

Ximena also clarifies the importance of the novel actress and the problems of society that are reflected in the film: 

"Yalitza, with this performance, has become the great representative of this struggle, it has made society turn to see a theme so every day in our country and in many Latin countries, which are the figure of the nana, of women, of abortion and of their fundamental rights ".

Given the series of criticisms and negative comments and racist against Aparicio, Alfonso Cuarón, director of Rome, has become not only a support for Yalitza, it is also the most important protector of the young actress, and he has mentioned many times that "she can do absolutely what she wants, because she is a woman whose intelligence will allow her and has the ability to choose well the right thing and what she wants".

Few know that Yalitza studied to be a teacher and said she did it because it seemed essential to instil better ideas for children to obtain a better society, however, I mention that now she realizes the massive weapon that can be the cinema and the possibility that he gave it in terms of getting his voice across.

Definitely, we are very confident that Yalitza can become a very important voice in the fight for women's rights and for equal opportunities. It has all the conditions to do it.

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Outrage as Yalitza Aparicio too photoshopped on a magazine cover. The netizens rejected that the protagonist of "Rome" looked whiter and thinner in the photo.

Yalitza Aparicio criticism. Photo: Twitter screenshot HOLA
Yalitza Aparicio criticism. Photo: Twitter screenshot HOLA

Users of social networks criticized the excessive use of Photoshop on the cover of the magazine "Hi! Mexico ", in which Yalitza Aparicio appears, nominated for an Oscar in the category of" Best Actress "for her role in Rome. Netizens claimed mainly the touch-up to clarify the skin of the 29-year-old Oaxacan woman, as well as the edition of her body and face so that she looked taller and thinner than she really is.

Several users commented that this practice of stylizing the photography of Yalitza Aparicio, is a racist act on the part of the social magazine, in order to follow its editorial line. This Thursday, "Hello!" Launched its new issue in Mexico in which it publishes an interview with the protagonist of Rome and a series of photographs, in which she wears an elegant red dress and fine jewellery, as well as different costumes and accessories from Mexican designers.

Yalitza is used by Hollywood to clean up its image

Ricardo Trujillo, the academician of the UNAM, explained in an interview that the nomination of Yalitza Aparicio to the Oscar is not more than an attempt of Hollywood to "wash its image"

The world of cinema and entertainment have been fixed on a figure considered the rising star of 2018, Yalitza Aparicio, however, there are different positions on the success of the protagonist of the movie Roma.

Yalitza, Mexican actress of indigenous descent who made her film debut with the film Alfonso Cuarón, has gone from leading a modest life to gain fame worldwide, which many question whether this is an advance towards diversity or we are facing a product more of Hollywood.

Since the Rome premiere, Yalitza, from a humble family in the southern state of Oaxaca, is living a dream that she would never have imagined since she has no training in acting.

In the city of Tlaxiaco, Aparicio led a quiet life as a school teacher and now travels the world presenting the film, receiving awards and wearing haute couture dresses of the likes of Prada, Oscar de la Renta or Miu Miu.

In addition, she has starred on the cover of numerous fashion magazines and has become the first woman of indigenous descent to appear on the first page of Vogue.

"Yalitza becomes another form of simulation, it becomes something that seems to be an icon of the indigenous but ends up being another attraction in this game," psychologist Ricardo Trujillo told Efe.

The academician of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the most important in the country, said that the nomination for best actress at the Oscars, to be held on February 24, is just another Hollywood effort to wash its image.

"Hollywood has to wash its face, show itself as inclusive and celebrate any type of minority, usually those that do not present a threat," Trujillo explained.

He considered that the fame of Yalitza is part of what is called "museification of diversity", that is, giving a feigned value and protection to diversity while crushing the essence and nature of the group.

"In Mexico we can talk about the Aztecs now that we have killed their culture. This is one more piece of the museification of diversity when in reality we are still the same," said the professor.

However, the fame of the actress, which for Trujillo is partly a consequence of the positive discrimination practiced by Hollywood, for many others is serving to make visible the indigenous peoples and even the entire Mexican people before the rest of the world.

In addition to the racist and classist comments that she has suffered as a result of her success, many believe that her Oscar nomination is unfair because of her very short career and lack of training.

For example, the Mexican actress Patricia Reyes Espíndola said in an interview to a national television that the fame of Yalitza is going to end soon.

"I think that fame is going to end very quickly. She's beautiful, she did her part well, but I do not think she's going to make a career in this (...) It's not her vocation, it's not what she wants," she explained.

But others consider that, precisely, having so little experience, has brilliantly brought to life the character of 'Cleo', an indigenous household worker around whom the plot of Rome revolves.

In that sense, Salma Hayek, who in 2002 became the first Mexican nominee for an Oscar for best actress for her performance in the film Frida, considered "very deserved" the nomination of Aparicio.

"I am very excited to know that as of today I am not alone. Congratulations Yalitza for your well-deserved nomination. Hopefully this time you will take it," she commented in a social media publication.

Cuarón opened a call to find a woman protagonist for his film to which Yalitza, 25, appeared without knowing that he would change his life and without knowing the content of the script.

Even her family came to think that it was dangerous to go in case it was a hoax related to trafficking in women.

However, Aparicio attended the event and when the filmmaker saw her come in she knew that she had to play 'Cleo', a character inspired by Libo, the housekeeper who saw Cuarón grow.